What you need to know, before you rent your new home in your new Caribbean locale
Don’t rent sight unseen
Moving to Grand Cayman from overseas with a tenancy agreement already in hand isn’t unheard of. But, choosing to save a few dollars by signing a long term lease without viewing the property first, is a bit of a gamble. It’s often recommended to spend the first couple of weeks in temporary accommodation whilst looking for a new home. No matter how much research is done online, pictures, even video, don’t tell the whole story on a property. Avoid nasty surprises – broken appliances, filthy conditions, doors hanging off hinges – and wait until you are on-island to sign a lease; but if you can’t, work with a realtor that you can trust, as they will ensure that everything is in working order, such as AC, dishwasher, locks on the doors, etc.
Please! Oh Please! Work with a realtor
In the Cayman Islands, realtors are more than just your property guru. They know the island in and out, and they know the untold stories. For example, if you have asthma or allergies, your realtor will keep you away from complexes that have had mold, moisture or other issues. You can’t get that kind of inside information just by looking at www.ecaytrade.com – the local classifieds.
Williams2 Real Estate has a professional and tech savvy team that will find you the perfect home within your budget. This group of Cayman long-timers, have in depth knowledge of the market, are ethically responsible and are the fastest growing real estate group on the island.
Before moving to Grand Cayman, feel free to contact many of the island’s trusted real estate professionals, they are well versed in helping overseas house hunters. Other recognized real estate firms include:
Get a mold inspection
Because of the environment, mold prevention should be top of mind when moving to Grand Cayman. Mold can be very dangerous to your health and it’s a good idea to have your new home’s AC system checked to ensure you are breathing clean air, free of mold and other microorganisms.
A mold inspection costs around 300 KYD, well worth the price to protect yourself and your family from major health problems and related expenses. The Cayman Islands Yellow Pages list trusted mold remediation experts such as GrimeX and ECO SMART .
Do you have pets? Do you have kids?
Not at all properties allow pets, and not all properties allow kids. If you have either, make sure you inform your realtor, and ask about the deposit. Many property owners require additional deposits for kids and/or pets.
Location? Living seaside might not be as idyllic as you think
You are moving to Grand Cayman and you can’t imagine NOT living on the water. But living on the water means sea salt eating away at your patio furniture, constantly dirty and sticky windows, salt damage to your car, and not to mention being at the mercy of mother nature. As seaside property is always at a premium, it’s also harder on the budget, so remember, no matter where you live on the island, you are never more than 5 minutes away to the water!
Fully Furnished – but you might want to rethink that “used” mattress
One of the many perks of moving to Grand Cayman is that you can pack light as most homes are rented, even sold, fully furnished. The only item that you might not want is the mattress. Depending on what you are used to, most rentals have cheaper, spring mattresses, and for many, these are not comfortable.
So when viewing properties, test out those mattresses, and if they feel even moderately uncomfortable, negotiate with the landlord, if they won’t spring for a new one, then seriously consider investing in a good night sleep – worth every penny.
Neighbors – who do you want to live with?
Moving to Grand Cayman affords you the luxury of choosing from many types of waterfront and inland living properties. There are complexes best suited for executives, families, or sharers for example, and each have something to offer. Depending on your lifestyle, you might want to live near the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach with all its late nights and beach side bars. Perhaps you want to live in a quiet community, no loud music or noisy children to disturb your Sunday morning slumber. Or, if you have kids, you might be looking for a family friendly complex with pool, gardens, jungle gym and plenty of other children for playmates. Either way, your realtor will know which complex, and in which neighborhood, will suit your lifestyle best.
Looking for a new home is both exciting and stressful, even without adding on the complexity of house hunting in a new country! Before moving to Grand Cayman, do your research, be clear on what you want, and get help from professionals. A great realtor will lead you through the process, inform you of other related costs and be your guide should you encounter any problems. Alternatively, talk to your recruiter, your new employer and future colleagues, as they have surely been through it before and will have plenty of advice to offer.
Check out the Cayman New Resident Website for more information on rental properties before moving to Grand Cayman.
Click here to find out more about Living in the Cayman Islands.